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A fundamental operation for all cyclists who want to get the best out of their MTB, the MTB gear adjustment it must be carried out with particular care and, for those who have no previous experience on the subject, it could also represent a small difficulty which, generally, is overcome with the passing of tests and with the maturation of a better experience in this situation.
But how do you make the MTB gear adjustment? What are the steps you should take to be able to do this effectively?
We have tried to summarize the main activities that you should carry out for a good adjustment of the gearbox of your MTB, it being understood that for a more punctual and qualified assistance there is nothing better than resorting to the advice of the bike seller, or a service center, which will guide you step by step in getting the best out of your favorite two wheels!
How to adjust the MTB gearbox
The first thing you need to do in order to adjust the MTB gearbox is to place the chain in the smallest "sprocket".
Once this is done you have to let the control cable loose, without therefore the locking bolt being too tight, and act on the adjustment screw, which is usually the one that has the head that can be maneuvered through a common Phillips screwdriver. The goal is to perfectly align the balance wheel with the gear on which the chain is located.
Once you have completed this brief preliminary operation you should screw the cable tension adjusters on the rear derailleur as much as possible, and those on the cable guide on the down tube. Then tighten the cable by fixing it to the lock, on the body of the same gearbox.
At this point the gearbox should already be ready to function properly. In the event that you are in a position to notice small sagging of the cable, you can recover them by acting again on the tension adjusters, perhaps trying to leave the one on the down tube at zero and intervening directly on those present on the gearbox, and which allow you to make a more precise adjustment.
Adjust the upper screw of the MTB derailleur
Once you have finished the above operations, all you have to do is close the circle with the adjustment of the upper screw.
Even this operation does not present particular obstacles, but we still recommend that you do it calmly, the first time you do it, because it could reserve you some surprises if it is done too hastily.
Remember that you should bring the gearbox to move the chain on the last gear, so that you can effectively adjust the tensioning adjuster that will allow you to avoid the chain coming out towards the spokes of the bike wheels.
The goal is to easily make the chain go up to the last gear without tiring, and at the same time make it fall towards the smallest ones without shelling between one sprocket and the other.
In the event that you are having difficulty climbing and there is therefore a need to restore a situation of equilibrium, try to pull the cable slightly by unscrewing the tension adjuster. On the other hand, if you have difficulty descending, you should slightly release the cable and, therefore, on the other hand, you should proceed with screwing the tension adjuster.
In any case, we advise you to carry out these maneuvers with due gradualness. In order to find the right balance point, it will rarely be necessary to tighten or loosen the body, but it will be enough to gently tighten the cable with a common 5 Allen key, without exceeding.
How to take care of the MTB gearbox
Before leaving, we want to dedicate a few lines to share some useful tips on how you can take care of the MTB gearbox in such a way that it can extend its longevity and efficiency over time.
In fact, remember that the bike gearbox is certainly one of the most delicate components of your favorite two-wheeler and that it is the element most subject to breakage after the tires. This is why we recommend that all cyclists need to put a little more awareness on its use.
For example, it is good to lubricate the chain often, an accessory that is constantly moving when you change gears, and that needs to be frequently cleaned of residues and debris.
It is also good to change only while pedaling, thus avoiding forcing changes while stationary: the gear mechanism is in fact designed specifically to be able to move the chain while pedaling, and not vice versa!
Again, we suggest not to change by putting too much strain on the pedals, because when you push too hard on the pedals and proceed with the change at the same time, the chain could become excessively stressed and break. It is very important to pay attention to this aspect, especially during the climbs, and it is therefore good to try to play slightly early. That is, it is good to change gear a little earlier than necessary, making sure to change the gear before starting the climb!